Small Victory

I had a goal in March that I wanted to be able to fit in to the opera seats at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. The last several operas required some creative sitting and resigning myself to not getting up during intermission without the Jaws of Life providing assistance. I’m not even going to get into the pain and bruising that goes along with it.

So the past two weekends I sat down and though I didn’t clear the arm rests easily I could position myself without going in at a 45* angle and then with brute force and with all my weight force the other hip into it’s confined space. VICTORY!

True not the victory I had planned, but no one can deny it is still a victory.

Friendly Words of Wisdom

A dear friend and fellow blogger (www.unabridgedgirl.com) Mckenzie has been going through a lot.  Lupus is the darkest and a loving supportive husband as the brightest extremes in her life.  One blog she wrote talked about how a friend of hers that made a rude comment.  In the end she made a list of things to remember in the Hard Moments.  I stole them to remember myself and share:

Here are some things I have learned.

1. When you face a hardship you learn a lot about the true nature of friends, family, and people.

2. Things can always get worse.

3. It is okay to smile, even when you feel like frowning.

4. It is extremely easy to get caught up in one’s own woes and difficulties. Basically, get over yourself. It is easier said than done, but real gratitude for those around you goes a long way.

5. Crying is okay.

6. Laughing is even better.

7. Give yourself permission to be angry.

8. Give yourself permission to forgive.

9. Rest.

10. Let your loved one rest, too.

11. It isn’t all about you.

12. Take a walk.

13. Don’t be afraid to voice your appreciation.

14. Be still.

15. And never, ever give up.

The Evolution of Abstinence

Food abstinence isn’t enough there needs to be more for me.   I realized this after troughing through a Chipotle burrito bowl a few days ago that though it was lunch, and I’m suppose to eat lunch, I wasn’t abstaining. I was shoveling it in my mouth as fast as I could to bury and silence the anger attacking me. Though it was the letter of the law the Spirit of the law was shattered.  However, it was still abstinence because I was eating a meal.

Everyone is supposed to define their abstinence, I have yet to really come to terms with what mine is….and I have yet to have a full week of abstinence.  Perhaps I’m expecting too much of weakling self.  I hear talks of people taking to abstinence right away, like a duck to water but I’ve not been that graced yet.  I tried to go on a diet earlier in the year.  It lasted all of three days and then cookies arrived and….Yum…..  Need I say more.  I realized then the work that it takes to start a diet; planning, cooking, thinking, was too much all at once for me.  My bandwidth for life in general is still quite limited with full-time work, part-time work, family, friends, working out and church.  I needed to start slow.  And slow I go….

My first abstinence was eating three meals a day with healthy snacks if needed.  I’ve never really stuck to eating just three meals a day my whole life.  I’ve started it, and I give it a good try but then I’d oversleep, don’t eat breakfast and eat a huge lunch to make up for it and then huge dinner, snacking all through the day and “tasting” while I cook.  I was fairly successful with that abstinence Monday through Friday, the weekend not as good.  The boon of eating three meals a day meant that I was taking all my medications in a timely fashion as well.  The way I worked the eating aspect of the program (since I’m sponsorless) is I would write down in my OA journal the date and the topic (Meal Plan).  The first paragraph is the Serenity prayer, then my meal plan of what I knew I could get a hold of for the day, then the Young Womans Theme slightly tweaked for the fact that I’m not a Young Woman any more and some of the things I’ve done.  It was a solid 10 to 15 minutes of writing.  Then I lost my hands (Okay, I didn’t lose them.  I know where they are, I just can’t use for that much writing without my thumb and wrist threatening to go on strike)  Writing it down first thing in the morning helped me to keep it in the forefront of my mind.  I use a program called Happy Ritual where every day you can tick off what you’ve done and then track it over the weeks and months.

Second Abstinence was to add exercise.  So, like I do my morning meal plan I would write out what I would do for exercise.  I put that on my Happy Ritual, both what to work out and that I’ve committed to it.  I need to move every day.  I’m good at the committing but not good at the doing.  At least not of late, but you know what we say ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Third Abstinence is to add Emotional abstinence.  Which is where I’m at now.  I can’t eat when I’m angry, I can’t eat when I’m bored, I can’t eat because I’m frustrated or when I want to celebrate.  I need to be mindful, and yes, there are books for that.  I wish I could ingest the book and then have it be so.  Learning and fiber in one fell swoop would be very helpful.  To help with this I’ve started praying again, and yes, I have to put it on my HR because I will forget and I am addicted to check-off things because it makes me feel productive.  I commit my food every morning to Heavenly Father, then when I’ve got a few minutes I type it into my To Do list for the day.  Google Task lets you do sub tasks so I can spell out Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AM Snack and PM Snack and if I want desert I can put that on as well and as I click them off it gives me a percentage of how much I’ve accomplished for that task.

I will eventually get back to writing it down, I think it writes it on the brain when you sweep the pen across paper leaving an guide map for the day and then sleep sort of erases it, well things like this anyway.  Important things are normally filed before it can be erased.  Kind of like a blog.

I’m curious as to what the next step in my abstinence will be, and when it happens, gentle reader, I will let you know.

Control is an Illusion

I know this. I’m not stupid. Yet to gain the serenity promised in the SERENITY PRAYER I need to exert the kind of control over my life that I’ve never really wanted before. I need to become a machine. I need to make a list, check it twice, and then methodically, mechanistically go through each one with the promise there will be sleep at the end. It doesn’t help that my goal of coming off the anti-depressants isn’t working as well as I’d hope and staying in bed hiding among the varied dreamscapes I find there is all I want to do.

The lack of meds, the lack of control over the type of control I want in my life and the anger that’s welling up in me for having to have to shut down a goodly portion of my emotional life again in favor of sanity is making me want to take back the realization of March 2013: my name is Pamela and I’m a compulsive overeater. Maybe I’m not. (Anyone else catch the compulsively long run-on sentence?)

I am. I know I am. And try as one might you can’t unknown something without a fairly major stroke. It’s just right now it seems like one more thing on my over crowded to-do list.